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Wednesday 2 October 2019

16th World Children’s Haiku Contest 2019-2020 – Applications closed

16th World Children’s Haiku Contest 2019-2020 – Applications closed

First Prize for 3 students: Canon digital camera. Other prizes will also be awarded.

Closing Date for Entries: Saturday 21 March 2020

Please note the 16th World Children’s Haiku Contest 2019-2020 is now closed. Due to covid-19, there is a delay in notifying the winners of this year's contest. Winners are expected to be notified in June.

With the Japan Rugby World Cup and Tokyo Olympics, 2019-2020 is an important period for Japan and SPORTS. So, you may be inspired to do more physical activity: do you like team or individual sports? Dancing in your bedroom? Or simply walking outdoors in nature? This year we are looking for haiku that express the feeling as you score a goal or lose a game, jump up high or tumble on the ground, run through grass or conquer a mountain! Any theme that is connected to SPORTS is eligible for this competition.

The first Haiku Contest was organised by the JAL Foundation in 1990 and one has been held every two years since then. Japan Airlines, with support and assistance from the Japan Society, is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 Contest.

Entries should be submitted to the Japan Society by Saturday 21 March 2020. Judging will take place during March and winners notified shortly after.

Rules and Entry Guidelines


  • One entry per child (either typed or handwritten) on the theme of ‘SPORTS’.
  • Applicants must be aged 15 and under on 21 March 2020.
  • The haiku must be accompanied by hand-drawn or hand-crafted artwork on the same page, using A4-sized paper (21 cm x 29.7 cm) or letter-sized paper (8.5in. x 11in.).
  • Glue the application form on the back of the work.


  • Any form of artwork (except photographs or digital images) can be submitted.
  • Every entry must be the original and unpublished work of the child themselves. Assistance by others (parents, other adults, siblings, or other children) is prohibited.
  • The haiku must be presented in three short lines.
  • All rights (for compositions and artwork) will be reserved by JAL Foundation.

Contest Results

  • Contest results will be announced on the JAL Foundation and Japan Society websites in June 2020.
  • Haiku By World Children, Volume 16 will be shown in the entertainment program on Boeing 787 international Japan Airlines flights.

Individual Entry

Please complete and attach the application form to the back of all entries. Applicant’s name and age must be clearly marked on the reverse, together with the school name.
Please send entries to:
Haiku Contest
The Japan Society
13/14 Cornwall Terrace
London NW1 4QP

Group/School Entry

Entries from the same school may be parcelled together for submission. Please note that it is not necessary for each child to provide an email address on the application form in the case of group/school entries.
Each applicant must stick the application form on the back. Then, the parcel must include the United Kingdom Application Form for Schools.
Please send entries to:
Haiku Contest
The Japan Society
13/14 Cornwall Terrace
London NW1 4QP

Please note that the Japan Society can only receive entries from applicants based in the UK.

Writing Haiku

Download our guide to write your sport haiku

Don’t forget, haiku should ideally include some word or phrase that indicates a ‘season’ (Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter). For further tips and techniques on writing a Haiku please watch the film How to Haiku Beyond 5 7 5.

You can also see JAL Foundation’s Guide to Writing Haiku. For inspiration, you can read the winners and runners-up haiku from 2017-18 Living Things 15th World Children’s Haiku contest.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the competition please contact the Japan Society Education Team on tel: 020 3075 1993 or email:

For more information on the JAL Foundation or to enter the Haiku Contest from outside the UK, please visit the JAL Foundation website.